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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings:

We are in the middle of researching a temporary house that we can start staying in for extended periods of time while we work on our 5 acre property that will also transition into something useful once we are done and can move it to any spot we might want.

We saw a dome home and I can't remember right off the name of it. But like a 20ft eco dome. We are also looking at the sukup.com Safe T homes that are 18ft but go straight up so you don't lose the same space as you would in a dome. Looking at Yurts I believe they are called and also just throwing up a steel structure. We are also looking at small log cabins as well.

Has anyone done this, what is your experience? What are some things that we could be looking for or looking at. We are trying to keep it around $10,000.00. We have a total of 7 people My wife and I and 5 kids. We are thinking of moving our pop up camper besides this and having the older kids sleep in the pop up and my wife and I and the two youngest sleep in this house with a small kitchen, table, and bathroom in it. Share your experiences and thoughts.
 

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Mrs Inor and I looked at the dome houses for exactly the same reason you are - as temporary shelter while we build our next house. They look pretty cheap at first, but once you buy the floor, the toilet setup, the kitchen setup, etc. they get pretty expensive pretty fast. We were just looking at housing the two of us and if we bought all of their pre-built accessories we would need to live in it for a year, it would been over $20K.

I am pretty adept in the wood shop. So I could build a lot of the stuff for far less than buying from them. But that would take time away from building the real house and defeat the entire purpose of the thing in the first place. We decided against it.
 

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If you have the help of a couple of good people you can make your new construction "weatherproof" in a couple of weeks. (assuming a stick built structure) I don't think it is worthwhile building a second home to build your primary residence. My brother and I built a 12x20 "A"-frame in three days after one weekend putting in the foundation by ourselves. This was all hand tools and hand excavation - that was 35 years ago and the house is still in better shape than we are.
cabin1.JPG

The loft is used for sleeping and reloading and the main floor is the living area. It has a bath with shower, a kitchen, and a "main" room. The large chimney is from the diesel/wood stove and there are two other stacks - one for the instant hot water heater and one for the stove vent. There are 3 solar panels in place for lights and computer usage - no phone the antenna is for the two to three TV stations that we can get - one from Canada.

A later addition was a front porch - not added when this picture was taken - and a room added to the back for a laundry room.
This picture was taken in late May of 2008. Spring came early that year - oh, we are 4500 feet above sea level.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for writing back. I can see where costs would start to add up quick. Good way to look at it. We currently live less than 3 miles away but our goal is to get out of the house as soon as we can so we can start renting it and free up that income to move the land along faster. We also bought ducks and getting chickens and a goat soon so we want to move them out of our subdivision pool deck and get them out into the land haha. I am good at a lot of things......building, really anything with wood or building, is not one of them! Haha. My wife is pretty handy with building but already has a full load taking care of the kids and going to be working the gardening and my job is clearing the land and shelter. We already have the concept of what our final home will be (and it won't be a traditional house) I'll probably share that later when we get it laid out better. We wanted something that would not go to waste once we start working on the main home area. In a nut shell we are going to make it like an outdoor campus. Sleeping and living quarters in one building, covered circular walk way to an out door kitchen, outdoor laundry area, outdoor play area. So something unique and different that takes advantage of the outdoors more. So this structure would turn into a section of our outdoor area, maybe turn it into the laundry room or a game room or something like that in the future.

So what did you end up doing Inor? Just moved right into building the home? You got me thinking now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Very cool Paul! I agree, I think it would be wasteful to build one home only to replace it, which is why we are trying to design ideas and pick something that would merge into our final project and final game plan for the permanent residence or probably better term would be compound. Well maybe compound sounds a little too fortress and we are not doing that, haha. So with what we decide on it will then in some way be apart of the final layout of our living area or will at worse case be turned into a guest house for friends and family that visit with us or hang out place for the kids. This is how I'm trying to justify this type of structure in my head. But I can see where possibly skipping this and going right to the final living quarters if I can figure out how to build cheaply enough by myself might be the way to go.
 

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So what did you end up doing Inor? Just moved right into building the home? You got me thinking now!
Right at the moment, we are getting our house in MN ready to sell. - That is why I have been spending too much time online here lately. - Trying any excuse to NOT have to work on the place we are selling! :grin:

The place we are building is in very rural AZ. I think we are just going to rent for a year or so until we get the house far enough along to move into it. Rents in the area we are going are cheap as hell - ~$700 per mo for a 3 BR house. So the equity from our place in MN will finance the construction of the new place. And $700 or even a few hundred more is not going to slow us down at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Great idea! Our house is upside down by like 50k so we are going to go the renting route which is pretty good in our area. Plan on doing the renting route until the market comes back enough to sell it or just rent it until it is one day paid off and maybe sell it as part of a retirement plan in the future. Not sure, all I know right now is that the plan is to get it so we can rent it until we see what happens with the market. But, we can't rent it until we move out. And with a family of 7 it isn't the easiest thing to just up and move!
 

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Since you already have the popup, have you considered picking up a used travel trailer to use as temporary housing? Something in the 26' range, or larger. Being in FL, you should be able to get something decent at a good price. When you finish the main house, you could just sell it and use the money for your out building.
 

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Since you already have the popup, have you considered picking up a used travel trailer to use as temporary housing? Something in the 26' range, or larger. Being in FL, you should be able to get something decent at a good price. When you finish the main house, you could just sell it and use the money for your out building.
This was my first thought as well. Look into what is known as a bunkhouse travel trailer.
 

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20ft shipping containers. Don't know sex ratio of the kids. But one for the boys & one for the girls. Batteries to power lights, fan, etc. Can recharge from solar system or a generator. Easy enough moved around your property with logs as rollers & tractor or 4x4 truck to pull them.

House gets built & can use them separately as storeage or work sheds or weld them together & cut a doorway between them for a 16x20 building.
 

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The place we are building is in very rural AZ.
We are looking at trailer as well also trying to move to AZ...
I'm also trying to get out to AZ
OH! No... Wait. I already did that three years ago!

Congrats on moving to one of the BEST states in the Union. There is a LOT of good stuff out here and I love the people and politics of AZ. You will love it here. Good luck on the moves guys!

With respect to your privacy, what area are you looking at? I'm in North Phx, near Cave Creek but looking for BOL near the Mogollon Rim country.
 

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I'm also trying to get out to AZ
OH! No... Wait. I already did that three years ago!

Congrats on moving to one of the BEST states in the Union. There is a LOT of good stuff out here and I love the people and politics of AZ. You will love it here. Good luck on the moves guys!
West side daughters live in Surprise and Son lives in Goodyear. Looked at Alpine but recent fires have me rethinking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the replies. We are trying to avoid buying something and having to sell it. Whatever we buy we want to be able to put it to use in our new development project once we begin building the final structure. Shipping containers have always been of interest to us. We have seen many of the shipping container homes and do like them a lot. Our children are 3 boys 2 girls all 8 and under. We have not decided yet on what we are going to do and still toying with some ideas. First we need to continue clearing the land and going to keep working on that aspect for the next month. Once we have a better idea of the space we are working with then it will be getting closer to needing to make a decision on which temporary type home we will be going with. Still not settled on the idea, but shipping container and this safe-T house or a dome are still in the running as well as also putting together a standard log cabin. I have been finding that you can get the building materials for a log cabin fairly inexpensive as well. Just not sure about log cabins in Florida.
 

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Even with a concrete foundation there will the the constant settling of the logs so constant maintenance of adjusting. There is also that terminte thing as well as wood beetles.
 

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One thing about purchase of shipping containers is, the more you buy the better deal you will get. Once containers are in place you can partially live in them while modeling as well as having the camper.

Just get as many containers as you want for the appropriate floor space. Two 40ft containers together would be 16X40 which is the size of a small double wide. If you are resticted for space you could add two 20ft ontop for an additonal 16X20 for bedrooms. 960sqft done like that. Or put two 40ft ontop of the first two giving you 1280sqft.

With shipping containers, you are only restricted by your imagination & finances.
 

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I'm also trying to get out to AZ
OH! No... Wait. I already did that three years ago!

Congrats on moving to one of the BEST states in the Union. There is a LOT of good stuff out here and I love the people and politics of AZ. You will love it here. Good luck on the moves guys!

With respect to your privacy, what area are you looking at? I'm in North Phx, near Cave Creek but looking for BOL near the Mogollon Rim country.
We are going to Cochise County - Sulfur Springs valley
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
HuntingHawk could you PM the place you bought yours from? I remember seeing something on Ebay that the port in Miami has them for sale. Since I'm in Central Florida it is only about a 3 to 4 hour trip to Miami and my dad lives there so I could head down there and possibly pick out a good one. But yes, Shipping containers were certainly something we were looking at also for their strength in hurricane situations. My concern is how hard is it to move these things around the property. But I like your thought process on them and I would probably say for the money it would be the cheapest and possibly safest option. We got pretty big imaginations.
 

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TM, what about one of those yard sheds, only larger. You could sleep in it, with an outdoor kitchen and outdoor play area for the kids, it wouldn't have to be too large. Then you can use it for a shed for the goats and chicken coop on the other side. It sure wouldn't go to waste, with livestock and poultry. plus lawn mower, feed storage, etc. It wouldn't go to waste. I read an article of a guy who put up a 12 x 14 shed w/ wood pallets for only $200.00. Mostly for the hinges, nails/screws, etc. The pallets are free. And again, you can use it for other storage after your house is built. It took that guy a weekend to make. Wish I could remember what magazine I saw that in. Old age is a bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
We have a pop up camper that sleeps the whole family on the property now, it is just cramped and not very good shelter for the summer storms. So we are staying mostly at our house a couple of miles a way and spending a night here or there at the property. We have a bunch of pallets but we are working on making chicken and duck coops out of them and then we found a really cool outdoor furniture couch we are going to make with the next batch. So we love pallets but already got other plans for them. I think we are pretty close to pulling the trigger on the shipping containers but got to get the rest of our dry land cleared first so we can see what we have to work with then figure out how on earth we will get a semi back there haha.
 
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